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article imageMarijuana states propose legislation to stop federal crackdown

By Karen Graham     Mar 25, 2017 in Politics
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has already let the country know where he stands on marijuana use and the states that allow the sale of the product. Fearing a federal crackdown, a number of states are moving to protect their citizens.
Earlier this month, Digital Journal talked about the confusion and uncertainty many states that have legalized the sale and use of marijuana are going through right now, especially after the comments made by our new Attorney General were made public.
So what can a state legislator do to protect his constituents when the law of his or her state allows the sale or use of a drug that is considered a controlled substance under federal law? In Colorado's case, the legislature is considering new legislation that would protect the marijuana industry.
Senate Bill 17-192, called the Marijuana Business Efficiency Measures is a bill that would allow pot growers and retailers to reclassify their businesses - From recreational use to medicinal use if a change in federal law or enforcement of the federal law occurs.
Basically, the bill allows Colorado's 500 or so recreational pot growers to be instantly reclassified as medicinal pot growers, according to the Associated Press. And as press secretary Sean Spicer said, "there's a big difference" between medical and recreational pot.
A marijuana plant at a bar at a cannabis food event in Tacoma  Washington on July 19  2016
A marijuana plant at a bar at a cannabis food event in Tacoma, Washington on July 19, 2016
Jason Redmond, AFP/File
Oregon looks to protect people's right to privacy
In Oregon, Senate Bill 863 passed the Senate three days ago. This legislation would shield from prying eyes the names, birth-dates, driver’s license numbers or any other identifying information of the thousands of recreational marijuana users in the state.
Senator Ted Ferrioli, Republican minority leader and one of the bill’s sponsors, says the bill would not only protect the privacy of Oregon residents but federal employees, concealed-weapon permit holders, and out-of-state visitors, as well, reports
“I don’t have to tell you of the frequency of hacking incidents or inadvertent releases of data…the loss of this information could be damaging for many different reasons,” Ferrioli said Tuesday on the Senate floor. “We’ve heard a lot of conflicting information about the (White House) administration’s approach to cannabis.”
California taking a different approach
In California, a bill proposed by six Democratic lawmakers is causing quite a ruckus with law enforcement agencies in the state.The bill would block local police and sheriff's departments from assisting in federal marijuana investigations or enforcement of federal marijuana laws unless compelled by a court order.
Medicinal marijuana is gaining popularity to ease suffering from cancer  glaucoma  HIV or AIDS  Hepa...
Medicinal marijuana is gaining popularity to ease suffering from cancer, glaucoma, HIV or AIDS, Hepatitis C, Parkinson's disease and other conditions
, AFP/File
But law enforcement officials say the bill would tie their hands, preventing them from cooperating with federal drug enforcement agents, reports the Los Angeles Times. Proponents say this law is needed to protect marijuana growers are retailers.
"It really is quite offensive,” said Kern County Sheriff Donny Youngblood, president of the California State Sheriffs’ Assn., who said he objected to lawmakers “wanting to direct law enforcement how they want us to work.”
Eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized the sale of marijuana, while 28 states have legalized the use of marijuana for medical conditions, despite the fact that marijuana is treated as a controlled substance, just like cocaine and heroin, under federal law, punishable by arrest and imprisonment. It looks like it is going to come down to a battle over state's rights and federal law.
More about marijuana laws, state's rights, federal crackdown, Legislation, protection under the law
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